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Why does this Tenant Improvement Cost So Much?

    I'm often asked questions like this in the early phases of a tenant improvement. The client has many questions during early phases of an office relocation, and they normally would prefer to pin down the cost question quickly, so they can make a decision whether to move forward.
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DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phone: 4807103861
http://designlinearchitects.com

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cost of remodel

Accelerated Tempe Building Permits

By Doug Rusk, Architect

The City of Tempe offers an accelerated process to obtain building permits for minor remodels.

Tempe Buliding PlansObtaining approved building permit  in Tempe has been put on a “fast track” for those who are planning for minor commercial tenant improvement for your business OR for a minor home renovation.  These special programs will significantly shorten the plan review and building permit approval process.

City of Tempe Building Permits

Over The Counter Plan Review

If you meet the following criteria and have a form of payment with you, you may be eligible for an Over the Counter Permit.  The Building Permit may be processed while you wait, depending on the complexity of the project.   Plan check and building permit fees vary depending upon the type of work being done and the valuation.

  1. Minor residential additions not exceeding $10,000.00 valuation, patio covers, interior remodels, detached accessory structures, carport to garage conversions, covered patio to livable, and mobile home permits.
  2. Residential Fire Damage Repairs under 50% damage if the Fire Damage Report is available.
  3. Counter plan review may be provided for commercial Tenant Improvements (TIs) given the following situations:
  • Under 3,000 sq. ft. for Business Offices (no medical offices)
  • Under 1,500 sq. ft. for Mercantile space
  • Under 15,000 sq. ft. for storage of Low Hazard Storage less than 12’ in height.
  • Fire Damage “ Restore to Original” with no structural requirements
  • Depending upon the complexity of the work to be constructed, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) plans for any tenant space under a, b, or c above.
  • All other Occupancies—Multi-Family Residential, Medical Office, Assembly, Educational, Factory or Manufacturing, Hazardous, and Institutional Occupancies will require submittal.

3.    A counter plan review will NOT be provided when any of the following conditions exist:

  • A Notice to Comply has been issued for Construction Without Permits
  • A Change of Occupancy or revision of required exiting will occur upon completion of construction
  • A Use Permit, Parking Variance, etc. is required from Planning
  • Changes to the exterior of the building which will require Planning approval, including roof top changes that add equipment extending above the parapet, exterior lighting changes, window and door changes, paint scheme changes, etc.
  • Residential expansion larger than 25% on retention lots requiring engineering approval.
  • Mechanical, electrical, plumbing which is part of a pending building project or a building project not suitable for over the counter permits.
  • Projects where structural calculations are required.

Please Note:  The counter plan review is usually available on TUESDAY and THURSDAY (only) from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.   To learn more, call (480) 350-8341 to verify availability of services.

City Of Tempe Building Permits

Tempe house plans

Building Safety Department
21 E. Sixth St., Suite 208
31 E. Fifth St., East Garden Level
Tempe, Arizona 85281
Phone: 480.350.8341
Fax: 480.350.8677

How Do I Know if I Need a Permit in Tempe?

You May Need a Tempe Building Permit, if you’re:

  • Moving a sink- requires the proper extension of plumbing.
  • Demolishing a load-bearing wall- means redistributing weight from above.
  • Changing the home’s roof line framing.
  • Punching in a new window or door- requires a new header that carries weight from above.
  • Altering the footprint of your house.
  • Installing new electrical wiring.

You May NOT Need a Tempe Building Permit, if you’re:

  • Putting in hardwood floor.
  • Installing carpeting.
  • Upgrading your counter tops.
  • Paint

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author

A Tempe architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To discuss your Tempe building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com.

Architect in Tempe

Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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CASE STUDY– Mesa Office Tenant Improvement

Written By Doug Rusk, Architect

Mesa Office Tenant Improvement

A recent office tenant improvement we performed for a national insurance company showcases a great example of why some businesses are more successful than others.   When you’re an insurance business that focuses all day on helping other businesses and individuals with risk prevention, damage protection and safety & Loss control, it’s no surprise to find they are just as smart at handling their own office tenant improvement in a similar way.

So when Mary, their regional Project Manager, needed a reputable General Contractor for her company’s 2875 SF office tenant improvement project in Mesa, she called Joe Harris, managing partner of AZ Construction, LLC.   Joe’s first move was to confirm this project qualified for the “Permit By Inspection” program offered by the City of Mesa for minor tenant improvements projects.  His second move was to retain Doug Rusk, a principal with DESIGNLine Architects, LLC ASAP, who he knew would make him look good to his client by expediting their design/permit submittal package.  And because our client Mary provided a detailed specification package that described all their project goals, Doug’s design team needed only 21 business days from signed design contract to obtain City approved building permit in order to start construction. And Joe’s team needed only 20 business days from building permit approval to finish construction so the tenant could move in.

TENANT IMPROVEMENT  MESA

And as a result of our team’s continuous communication with the City of Mesa, we discovered that the current drinking fountain code requirement could be reduced to only requiring drink cups next to the break room sink.  So including the plumbing work that would have been required, this saved the client over $1200.

Mesa Office Tenant Improvement – Scope of Work

Overall, the tenant improvement scope of work on this project was relatively straightforward:

– Removed several decorative walls and ceiling elements in the main room.

– Remove the old ceiling work, and replaced with a new 11’-4” high T-bar ceiling, modified layout of lights and mechanical as required.

– Removed glass door wall in order to open up the front entry.

– Built 3 new walls to create one new office and two conference room. Painted Orange contract color on new office walls shown on left in photo above).

– Added all the necessary electrical outlets, power panel updates, lighting and data lines necessary for 12 cubical work stations.

– Updated paint and flooring throughout entire 2875 SF space.

COMMERCIAL OFFICE REMODEL

Have you noticed the growing number of unattended office lobbies these days?  In order to create efficiencies in our tenant improvement, we down sized the fancy lobby and instead positioned one of the typical workstations to act as the reception (see image above).

After removing the curved, multi-height ceiling elements and added the new office and conference room (see left side of top picture), we installed a new single height ceiling grid.   We saved $1600 by carefully designing the new ceiling grid and lighting so that we didn’t have to move too many fire sprinkler heads.  Per Mesa Fire Department codes if you relocate no more than 9 fire sprinkler heads, then you will not be required to submit complete fire sprinkler design drawings to the City of Mesa.

Office Tenant Improvement – Location is Key:

So if you’re business will benefit more exposure, consider some of the moves our subject insurance client performed:

Find a prominent corner location on a busy intersection with a gas station next door. – Provides great drive by exposure to drivers waiting at a stop light.

Locate your business between nationally franchised restaurants on one side and a Fed-Ex type postage delivery store on the other side. This will provide continuous walk by traffic that will build familiarity to your brand.

For other great ideas, read this:  Cost Effective Tenant Improvement Ideas

COMMERCIAL OFFICE REMODEL

About the Author

Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona.  We specialize in residential and commercial tenant improvement for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting.  We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your budget quickly.

Phoenix Architecture FirmDoug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
480-710-3861
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Mesa Building Permit “Shortcuts”

By Doug Rusk, Architect

The City of Mesa offers an accelerated process to obtain building permits for minor remodels.

If you haven’t already heard…  the City of Mesa offers a “shortcut” to obtain building permits for minor commercial remodel.   This special program, called “Permit By Inspection” (PBI), will significantly shorten the Plan Review and Permit Approval process – if your project qualifies.

Mesa Tenant ImprovementCity of Mesa

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement

Permit By Inspection (PBI)

The permit by inspection program (PBI) is a voluntary alternative to the standard construction document plan review and building permit approval processes for special projects of certain building uses, occupancies and degree of complexity.   The PBI program is intended to provide a stream-lined approach to building permit plan review review and issuance in which senior building inspectors review construction documents in the field and approve the issuance of the building permit.  There is a 20% premium for the PBI process on top of the regular building permit fee and other fees.

Benefits of the “Permit By Inspection” (PBI) Process:

  • – Typically the Permit By Inspection (PBI) is processed in a 5 day turnaround time  (instead of 18 days).
  • – Cuts down on paperwork.
  • – Much of process is done by email.
  • – One contact person who is familiar with the project and special conditions.
  • – Construction work can proceeds as the plan review is taking place.
  • – Quick response time to changing field conditions.

There are currently no written criteria to determine if your project will qualify for the building permit by PBI process.  To learn more, call Clyde at (480) 644-4273.

If your project does NOT qualify for the PBI process, the regular Plan Review Turn-Around Times at this writing are:

Commercial

  • – 5 business day PBI review.
  • – 18 business days review.
  • – 10 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee).
  • – Super expedite review with negotiated turn-around time (200% of building permit fee).

Residential

  • – 10 business day review (5 days for master plot plans).
  • – 5 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee).

Signs

Over-The-Counter Plan Review

The City of Mesa also offers same day over-the-counter plan reviews for the following projects types:

  • – Emergency repairs (water, sewer, gas, electric).
  • – “Like for Like” repair/replacement (gas, water, electric).
  • – Banner Permits.

City of Mesa

Construction Plan Review and Building Permits
55 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ  85201
PHONE (480) 644-4273
OFFICE HOURS:  7:00am to 6:00pm, M-TH
CLOSED FRIDAYS AND HOLIDAYS

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author

A Mesa architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To discuss your Mesa building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com.

Architect in Mesa

Mesa Architecture Firm
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Chandler Building Permits – Fast Track

Small Business Benefits from Fast Tracked Chandler Building Permits

Chandler is one small business richer since a new bread making business, Gratifying Grains LLC, opened this week.    The new Mother and Daughter owners, Betsy Moore and Megan Moore, said that “because they only planned on a minor remodel, the City of Chandler offered us an expedited process to obtain our tenant improvement building permits.”

Tenant Improvement Chandler

But they’re not the only ones.  Many new Chandler businesses, who are planning to apply for a minor commercial tenant improvement (TI), have recently utilized this special Chandler program called the Small Business Assistance Program.  According to Betsy, “this terrific program significantly shortened the plan review time and building permit approval process for us. “  Because not all construction projects will qualify for this program, she recommended that people call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138 for more information.

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement

Small Business Assistance Program

The Small Business Assistance Program is similar, but slightly different, to the Permit By Inspection (PBI) program offered at other Southeast Valley cities.   Here’s how it works.  A four member team from the Development Services staff, called the Small Business Assistance Team, will visit your new tenant space, and then mail you a written letter that identifies any issues of “significant importance” that might have the potential of costing you time and money.  This team is available at no cost and is intended to assist the small business community by helping clients navigate the City’s planning, building permit and licensing process.

QUALIFICATIONS:

There are currently no written qualifications to define a “minor tenant improvement”.  To learn more, call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138.

Chandler Commercial Remodel

City of Chandler
Transportation & Development
215 East Buffalo Street.
Chandler, AZ 85225

Phone:  Call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138 to answer expedited method of obtaining building permits.

How Do I Know if I Need a Chandler Building Permit?

May Need a Phoenix Building Permit, if you’re:

  • – Moving a sink- requires the proper extension of plumbing.
  • – Demolishing a load-bearing wall- means redistributing weight from above.
  • – Changing the home’s roof line framing.
  • – Punching in a new window or door- requires a new header that carries weight from above.
  • – Altering the footprint of your house.
  • – Installing new electrical wiring.

You May NOT Need a Phoenix Building Permit, if you’re:

  • – Putting in hardwood floor.
  • – Installing carpeting.
  • – Upgrading your counter tops.
  • – Paint

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits

A Chandler architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To discuss your Chandler building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com. building permits, Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits

Architect in Chandler

Phoenix Architecture FirmDoug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Early Construction Cost Estimate Confirms Tenant Budget in Gilbert.

Gilbert Construction Costs have Many Variables.

“We just want to convert a storage closet into a small break area and move a few walls. “

“How much do you think it will cost for our remodel?”

Clients call me with questions like these who are considering the remodel or relocation of their Gilbert business.  After the prospective landlord offers a tenant improvement allowance, I’ll get a call asking me to confirm if the offered will be sufficient to cover any costs incurred during the commercial remodel, hoping they will not have to come out of pocket to pay for the construction and design work.

COMMERCIAL REMODEL CONSTRUCTION COSTS

 

Yes the question is simple, but the answer is never easy and usually followed by a series of disclaimers, taking away all value to the answer.

When lease negotiations start to move quickly, the prospective tenant can understandably become very frustrated when they are asked to execute a contract before fully evaluating their financial commitments.  And when the cost of the tenant improvement cannot be established upfront, it makes the decision more difficult to accept any lease offer.

Many Gilbert businesses these days are choosing to make a few minor revisions to their existing office space instead of building a new office building or even undertaking a tenant improvement.  Whether dividing up office space to sub-lease a portion of it, or making changes that improve productivity, or attract customers, companies are searching for ways to increase revenue with minimal expense.

Tenant Improvements Costs are Not Easy to Determine.

Despite the fact that your tenant improvement design may appear to be the same as your last one, in truth it has never been built before.  Many of the workers that have been hired for your project may not have ever worked together in the past.  These new workers may require training in order to address the special conditions of your unique space and be required to interpret a design they have never seen before.  It is this diverse combination of workers as well as the unique conditions of your project that drives the fluctuating, unpredictability in labor cost.

Moving walls for tenant improvements is not as straightforward as most people think.

Actually, walls are not moved at all.

  • – Existing walls are demolished, and new walls in different locations, are built from scratch.
  • – Moreover, changing wall locations requires moving HVAC vents, light fixtures, sprinkler heads, electrical wiring and outlets, telephone and data cabling, and sometimes moldings or wainscoting.
  • – Where existing walls are demolished, entire new areas of flooring and ceiling material are usually needed, because simply bandaging the wounds left by demolished walls would be unsightly.
  • – This means re-carpeting an entire room or an entire office suite, so the carpet matches throughout.

Many subcontractors (trades) are needed to relocate even one wall, so a General Contractor (GC) must be hired to coordinate the necessary sequence of events amongst the various trades. The GC will hire framing, drywall, HVAC, electrical, cabling, flooring, and demolition trades, and charge a management fee about 10 – 30% above and beyond the total trade’s fees.   A minimum amount is charged to make it worth their effort, so small tenant improvement projects in Gilbert can cost more per square foot than large projects.

Construction Cost Estimate

So back to the all important question, “How much will it cost?”

Alternative Approaches to Remodel Cost Estimates.

  1. The traditional, old school approach to answer the question of construction cost, is to completely finish a details set of construction drawings (CD’s), and then request competitive bids from at least 3 general contractors.  Although this traditional method has been used since the beginning, it doesn’t provide the Owner (tenant) with the final construction costs until too late in the game, many times requiring a stressful period of redesign, rebidding and schedule delays.  In addition the General Contractor (the man with the most construction cost knowledge) is kept out of the early design process.  As a result and for many reasons, many design professionals have abandoned this dated approach.
  2. What has proven to be a more preferred, modern approach is called the Design/Build approach.  Once the Architect has prepared a preliminary space plan, the General Contractor is brought in to the team to not only provide valuable construction advice, but also to prepare a reasonable cost estimate to pin down the cost question quickly, so the Owner (tenant) can make the decision to move forward or not.

Generally, the Design/Build approach works like this:

  • – Once your preliminary space plan design is approved, your general contractor will ensure the project remains on budget, by preparing a construction cost estimate to within a +/- 20% range of variability (we can help you choose a contractor).
  • – Then when the construction documents are 75% complete, we will again work with your contractor to refine the construction cost estimate to within a +/-10% range.
  • – And when the final project is bid to the subcontractors, the prices are locked in, assuming no design changes.

About the Author

Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona.  We specialize in residential and commercial remodeling for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting.  We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your budget quickly.

Gilbert Architecture Firm
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
480-710-3861
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Expedited Scottsdale Building Permits

The City of Scottsdale offers an accelerated process to acquire building permits for minor remodels.

If you’re building a minor residential or commercial remodel in City of Scottsdale and need a building permit, there are special programs in place that will significantly shorten the plan review and permit approval process.

City of Scottsdale

If you meet the following criteria and have a form of payment with you, you may be eligible for an Over the Counter Buliding Permit.  The building permit may be processed while you wait, depending on the complexity of the project.   Plan check and building permit fees vary depending upon the type of work being done and the valuation.

Smaller Home Remodels/Addition

Scottsdale Building Permits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  For smaller residential remodels/additions, the City of Scottsdale offers a convenient over-the-counter plan review and building permit process, available Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM, opening at 10 AM on Wednesdays.  Plan Review is completed over the counter at the One Stop Shop.

City of Scottsdale

HOME REMODEL QUALIFICATIONS:

Over The Counter Plan Review

–  Home Remodels or Additions less than 1000 SF – no second floor additions.

–  Patio additions and enclosures.

–  Carports enclosures into garages or livable space.

–  Garage conversions to livable space.

–  Non-habitable accessory buildings less than 1000 SF.

–  Solar panels that are in compliance with City of Scottsdale placement guidelines.

–  Properties with non-conforming structures and/or properties, requiring additional research, may be submitted for a standard 20 day review.

–  Projects zoned Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL) must be submitted for a 20 day review.

–  During busy waiting periods, only one plan per customer will be honored.

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement

2.  The City of Scottsdale is now processing minor Commercial Tenant Improvements (TIs) using a two-tiered process that will allow certain types of TIs to be reviewed, and building permits issued, either same day or within 15 days of submittal. building permit, building permit, building permit

Scottsdale Buliding Permits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Scottsdale

COMMERCIAL TENANT IMPROVEMENT QUALIFICATIONS:

Over The Counter Plan Review

–  2,000 sq. ft. MAX

–  Group B or M occupancy ONLY

–  Single-story, non-structural

–  No use changes

–  Do not require a Use Permit

–  Do not require a Use Permit

–  Ask for a Counter Plan Reviewer

15-Day T.I. / Commercial Remodel Review

–  Groups A, B, E or M occupancy ONLY

–  Non Structural

–  No use changes

–  No Use Permit required

–  No exterior work* (other than roof mounted equipment that is fully screened)

3.   Projects north of the CAP will require some planning input before approving for over-the-counter review. Please ask to speak with a Planner.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

4.  Fire Sprinklers – Any residential improvement that involves 25% or more of the existing structure; and/or adds more than 25% to the original structure, requires that fire sprinklers be installed in the entire home.

5.  Building Code – Any residential improvement that involves 50% or more of the existing structure; and/or adds more than 50% to the original structure, requires that entire structure must be brought up to the current Building Code standards.

6.  Water & Sewer improvements may be required.

Coffee Bar Remodel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Scottsdale

Regular Plan Review Turn-Around Times

If your project does NOT qualify for the Over The Counter Plan Review process, the regular Plan Review Turn-Around Times at this writing are:

Commercial

–  15 business day review – Tenant Improvement (See item #2 above)

–  20 business day review –  Downtown Projects less than 3,000 sq.ft.

–  10 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee)

–  Super expedite review with negotiated turn-around time (200% of building permit fee)

Residential

–  20 business day review (5 days for master plot plans)

–  5 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee)

Signs

–  10 business days

–  Get Your Sign Permit Approved in One Review – 10 Steps!

To learn more, call 480-312-2500 at the One Stop Shop 7447 E Indian School Road, Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ  85251

Please Note:  The counter plan review is usually available on TUESDAY and THURSDAY (only) from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.   To learn more, call (480) 350-8341 to verify availability of services.

City of Scottsdale

One Stop Shop Permit Counter               Ed Peaser C. B. O.
First Floor, One Civic Center                                   Plan Review Manager
7447 E. Indian School Rd.                                        480-312-2532
www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov                                            epeaser@scottsdaleaz.gov
(480) 312-2500

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, GilbertChandler, Mesa, Scottsdale. building permit, building permit, building permit

About the Author

A Scottsdale architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home or office remodel.  To discuss your Scottsdale building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com. building permit, building permit, building permit

Architect in Scottsdale

Doug Rusk|Scottsdale Architecture Firm
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Cost Effective Tenant Improvement Ideas Phoenix

Compiled by Doug Rusk, Architect

Commercial Tenant Improvements

It’s been said that image is everything.  So when your customers walk into your office lobby, it should make a professional impression on them.  Enhancing the image and branding of your commercial offices doesn’t have to cost a lot.  There are many cost effective tenant improvement ideas listed below that we call “memory points” that will help your customers remember you, and improve the probability of that all important repeat business and referral.  Making only a few of these small changes will significantly transform your office space for the better.

Enhance your Reception/Lobby

tenant-improvement-Architect-Tempe* Adding texture and color to the wall directly under your reception counter is a great investment.  Like the front entry door, your reception desk can be very impressionable to your customer.  And depending on your office’s current theme or style, stone, brick veneer, wood or metal accents could be added.  Limit your palette to 2- 3 materials and colors.

* Upgrading the counter top material of the raised portion of your reception desk will focus your investment to just your customer’s reach.

* Adding a few new plants and painting the walls with a splash of sophisticated color is a very cost effective tenant improvement.

 

Dramatic Architectural Designs

tenant-improvement-Architect-Scottsdale* There are many ways to add dramatic architectural elements.   And surprisingly they can be cost effective tenant improvements.  A Phoenix architect can provide invaluable insight and design ideas.

* By inserting a few columns, beams, arches or lowered ceilings with wood or stone accents into your lobby,  your customer can’t help but see your company’s image as more successful and professional.  And the limited use of diagonal or curved element will add just the right amount od architectural drama needed to strengthen the room’s focal point.

* By adding these distinct architectural elements, it will improve your customer’s experience and help them remember you.

Upgrade Ceiling Treatment and Lighting

tenant-improvement-Architect-Chandler* Adding some architectural details to the existing T-bar ceiling in your lobby or conference room is a small, but effective, enhancement.

* Adding three (3) pendant lights over the reception desk is a very cost effective tenant improvement idea.

* Make your lobby more inviting by reducing the harsh florescent lighting and providing the ability for both bright and dim light.

 

Low Cost Commercial Office Remodel Ideas

tenant-improvement-Architect-Gilbert* Open the conference room up to the lobby with a glass wall.  Both rooms will feel larger and this  cost effective tenant improvement will also help convey your corporate policy of transparency.

* Add etched glass (or frosted film) to your conference room window located at a person’s sitting eye level.  This cost effective tenant improvement will provide privacy and reduce visual distractions.

* Hanging a world map on a prominent wall will convey a “global” image.

* Add or enhance your company’s sign and logo behind the reception desk.

* Modifying your window coverings will make a significant change, softening the window wall and absorbing sound where many hard surfaces exist.

* Enhancing you lobby’s coffee table will improve the center of the seating area.  And your customers will also love more comfortable seating, if required.

* Enhancing your company’s monument sign out on the curb and freshening up the landscaping are also good ways to improve your company’s image.

Keeping your existing customers and finding new ones are top goals of most business owners, right?  Implementing at least one or two of the “memory points” listed above will add value to your Tenant Improvement.  And improving your customer’s experience of their office visit will help them remember you in a professional light, and improve the probability of that all important repeat business and referral.

Phoenix Architecture Firms

Architect Phoenix Designer
 
Doug Rusk
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Tenant Improvement Construction Costs and Design

by Doug Rusk
Principal of DESIGNLine Architects, LLC

Commercial Office Remodel

We’d like to share four “design tips” with anyone who is thinking about venturing into a Tenant Improvement for their commercial office or retail space.

1.  A Tenant Improvement Renovation is Much Like a Home Renovation.

tenant-improvement-Architect-TempeIn many ways your business is your home.  It’s where you and you staff spend most of your waking hours.  As you work with your Architect consider in detail each room; who will use them and how they’ll function.

– In the same way that the kitchen and the family room want to be interconnected, you want to customize your commercial space so it better fits the interactions of your staff and the functions they perform.

– The operations manager of a popular Wine Bar and Bistro, for example, noted recently how productivity improved after the layout was reworked for their wine retail area. The new layout greatly improved the customer flow in the Bistro area for both the customers and staff.

2.  The Branding of Your Firm Should be Emphasized in Your Tenant Improvement Design.

If you run a business, you own a brand. Whether done consciously or not, you have positioned your brand in the market and have an opportunity to emphasize that brand in your Tenant Improvement.

– The appearance of your lobby room, the signage and detail around the entry, and even your bathrooms should mirror the core values and the culture of you, your staff and your business.

– If you’re planning a remodel of your Dentist office, for example, then you might want to create a casual, comfortable social atmosphere, because that’s the primary market you’re targeting.

– On the other hand you may instead want to create more of a formal, professional, no nonsense atmosphere, because it meets your clients needs  and the key attributes and benefits they desire.

– So, as you work with your Architect to draw up plans, take time to define your brand. Look at what you stand-for personally and as a business, and what differentiates you from competitors.  Just going through the process of defining your brand can help you make distinctive design decisions that not only improve flow and function, but may inevitably help your business grow.

3.  Generic Construction Costs for a Typical Tenant Improvement

There is no such thing as a “typical” tenant improvement.  Each project has a different set of requirements that are determined by many varying tenant-improvement-Architect-Chandlerfactors.  This graph illustrates some approximate construction costs based on historical data that you can use as a reference point when considering a standard office improvement.  These figures are general and will most likely change based on your project’s scope and special requirements.

Again, we hope the estimated, ball park numbers to the right will help you come to terms with a realistic budget.

4. Determine Cost Estimate Early

– If you talk to the right Architect, they will help you identify your budget and design goals, and offer a low cost conceptual design package that will be complete enough to allow a qualified General Contractor to develop a +/- 20% cost estimate for your project.  Our goal is to provide a low cost option for you to confirm your budget, before moving forward.

– And when the final drawings and specifications are completed and the project is bid to the subcontractors, very accurate costs are locked in, assuming no design changes.

Phoenix Architecture Firms

Doug Rusk is the principal of DESIGNLine Architects located in Gilbert, Arizona.  DESIGNLine Architects specializes in office tenant improvements and residential design.  We will ensure your Office Tenant Improvement will look more attractive and welcoming to your customers, while also increasing efficiency for you and your staff.

Phoenix ArchitectDoug Rusk, Architect
DESIGNLine Architects
480-710-3861
E:  drusk@designlinearchitects.com
W:  www.designlinearchitects.com

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Why does this Tenant Improvement Cost So Much?

By Doug Rusk, Architect

“We just want to tear down a few walls and convert a storage area to a small break room.  That can’t cost a lot, right?”

Tenant-Improvement-Architect-ScottsdaleClients asked questions like these in the early phases of a tenant improvement.  The client has many questions during early phases of an office relocation, and they normally would prefer to pin down the cost question quickly, so they can make a decision whether to move forward.

Many companies these days are choosing to make a few minor revisions to their office space instead of building new a office building or undertaking a tenant improvement Whether dividing up office space to sub-lease a portion of it, or making changes that improve productivity, or attracting customers, businesses are focused on ways to increase revenue with minimal expense.

Tenant Improvements are Not Always Easy

Moving walls for a tenant improvement is not as easy as you would think.  Actually, we don’t really move walls.  Existing walls are demolished, and new walls are built from scratch in new locations.  Also, changing wall locations requires relocating HVAC vents, light fixtures, sprinkler heads, electrical wiring and outlets, telephone and data cabling, and sometimes moldings or wainscoting.  Where existing walls are demolished, entire new areas of flooring and ceiling material are usually needed, because simply bandaging the wounds left by demolished walls would be unsightly.  This means recarpeting an entire room or an entire office suite, so the carpet matches throughout.

Many construction trades are needed to relocate even one wall, so a General Contractor must be hired to coordinate the necessary sequence of events amongst the various trades. The GC will hire framing, drywall, HVAC, electrical, cabling, flooring, and demolition subcontractors, and charge about 20% above and beyond the total subcontractors’ fees.   A minimum amount is charged to make it worth the effort, so small tenant improvement projects cost more per square foot than large projects.

Tenant Improvements Cost Estimate Provided Quickly

DESIGNline ARCHITECTS offers an alternative Design/Build approach for tenant improvements that will pin down the cost question quickly, so you can make the decision to move forward.    We’ve developed a three-step approach:

Tenant-Improvement-Architect-Gilbert Identify your budget and design goals, and offer a low cost conceptual design package.  Once you approve the conceptual design and scope of work, we will work with your general contractor to confirm the approved design is on budget, with a construction cost estimate to within a +/- 20% range of variability.
Once the conceptual design and budget align, we will finish your final design phase.  Then when the construction documents are 75% complete, we will again work with the contractor to refine the construction cost estimate to within +/-10% range.
And when the final project is bid to the subcontractors, the costs are locked in, assuming no design changes.

About the Author

Architect Phoenix DesignerTo set up an appointment contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com.   DESIGNline ARCHITECTS will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects.  We will also help you to make decisions that will enhance your business by guiding you through the entire commercial remodeling process from concept to completion.  We will ensure your tenant improvement will look more attractive and welcoming, while also increasing efficiency and comfort for your employees.

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